There’s no doubt that fire extinguishers are among the most important tools in any fire safety plan. They’re often the first line of defense against fires – and their usage can prevent certain fires from becoming catastrophic – saving both lives and assets.
However, many people make the mistake of depending on the same, old fire extinguishers they’ve had over the course of a few years. They think that because they haven’t had to use them that they should be full and ready to go whenever needed. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Fire extinguishers need to be charged in order to operate correctly. Here are some ways you can stay out ahead of this issue and make sure that when called upon – your fire extinguishers will be ready.
Was your extinguisher recently used?
If the answer is ‘yes’ – then it’s time to get it recharged. If the answer is ‘no, it hasn’t been used in years’ – then you really, really need to get it charged. Over time an extinguisher can leak pressure – so little you’d never notice it. And when it leaks air pressure, it also leaks chemicals from within the extinguisher. That’s bad if you need to fight a fire – it’s doubly bad if you lack both the chemicals and the air pressure to fight the fire.
Take the time to read this blog through, then call someone and get it inspected. Oh, and speaking of inspections…
Get your extinguishers inspected regularly
You should get your extinguishers inspected every year. Get a fire safety pro to come through, inspect them -and make sure everything is working as it should be. Fire extinguishers are incredibly durable – but in the rare event that they’re not, it’s important to be prepared. Professionals will also notice things that you simply wouldn’t think or know how to look for. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
Be on the lookout for problems
Things like low-pressure readings are a sign that you might need to get your extinguisher recharged. This would also apply if you can’t read operating instructions or you notice that certain seals have been broken. Also – if your extinguisher has been tampered with in any way – It should immediately be replaced.
Beware pressure gage issues
Anytime you notice little to no change in a pressure gage over the span of a few months, you could potentially have an issue. Your unit could be overcharged or undercharged – and you’ll need to make sure that your extinguisher is within safe operational parameters.
If you have any questions about this or any other fire protection topic, please contact Protegis Fire & Safety.